By Michael Lindsay
The District 7A softball championship trophy is staying in Gordonsville as the Tigerettes defeated Clay County 11-0 in Thursday afternoon’s title game at Crump Paris Park in Carthage.
“I’m proud of the girls,” said Gordonsville interim head coach Randy Jennings, who is taking over for district coach of the year Jonathon Bush who is temporarily away from the team. “We came out swinging the bats and swung them good all week. Kailey pitched well all tournament, and when you do that you’ve got a good shot at winning.”
The Tigerettes outscored district opponents 32-0 in 3 tournament games and went a perfect 11-0 against District 7A foes in 2023.
Sophomore pitcher Kailey Plumlee put on another stellar performance in the circle as she struck out 13 batters in 5 innings while allowing 4 hits, 1 walk and 0 runs.
Gordonsville recorded 11 RBIs and had two homers in Thursday’s win.
“We’ve got a lot of kids that can play a lot of roles,” Jennings said. “We were able to utilize a lot of speed in certain situations. We can play a little small ball, or we’ve got girls that can hit it out at any time.”
Kelsie Watts led the Tigerettes at the plate as she went 3-3 with a home run, a double, 2 RBIs and 2 runs scored. Plumlee went 2-2 with a home run, 4 RBIs and a run scored. The Tigerettes racked up 12 hits over 4 innings in the victory.
Gordonsville struck early as Kelsie Watts sent a 2-run home run to center in the bottom of the first to give the Tigerettes a 2-0 lead.
Clay County threatened in the top of the third inning as the Lady Bulldogs loaded the bases via a walk from Cameron Tucker and back-to-back singles by Reagan Cherry and Jaid Walker.
Plumlee worked out of the jam as the lefty struck out the final Lady Bulldog batter to keep the 2-0 lead intact.
“When you’ve got a strikeout pitcher, you don’t get as uptight about that,” Jennings said.
Gordonsville’s lead grew to 4-0 in the bottom of the 3rd as a Plumlee sacrifice fly scored Abby Brinkley and a Bailey Stewart double drove in Madison Askew.
Gordonsville’s offense came to life in the bottom of the fourth as the Tigerettes scored 7 runs in the frame to take a commanding 11-0 lead.
A Brinkley double drove in 2 runs to start the inning before a 247-foot 3-run home run by Plumlee cleared the trees beyond right field to put Gordonsville ahead 9-0. Hits from Stewart and Callie Dillard drove in a run each to put the Tigerettes ahead 11-0 and lock up their District 7A championship.
Gordonsville’s district title is their 7th in the past 10 years. The Tigerettes have advanced to the Region 4A tournament and will face the loser of Jo Byrns vs. Trousdale County while Clay County will face the winner.
Gordonsville’s district tournament championship is a stepping stone toward their goal of a return to the TSSAA state softball tournament.
“This was the second part; the first was winning the regular season and getting to host the tournament,” Jennings said. “We crank back up Monday, and our goal is to win the region and that substate game. Most of these girls started last year that finished in the top 4 at the state tournament. Our goal is to get back there and make a run at it.”